Recipients of federal financial assistance from DHS awarding components (such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Coast Guard, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) are required to administer their programs and activities in accordance with federal civil rights authorities and DHS implementing regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, sex, age, or religion.
The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) is responsible for making sure that DHS-assisted programs or activities comply with federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations, and provides resources to assist recipients in understanding their obligations.
Federal Financial Assistance Programs
Types of federal financial assistance can include:
- Grants and loans of federal funds
- Grants or donations of federal property
- Sale or lease of, or permission to use, federal property without consideration or at a nominal consideration
- Donation or use of equipment
- The detail of federal personnel
As a condition to DHS approval and extension of federal financial assistance, recipients must provide assurances and thereafter comply (and require subgrantees, contractors, successors, transferees, and other participants to comply) with federal laws and DHS regulations including those prohibiting discrimination. These include, but are not limited to:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
- Language Access: National origin discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of limited English proficiency (LEP). Recipients must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to their programs and activities.
- Environmental Justice: Programs and activities that affect human health or the environment may not directly, or through contractual or other arrangements, use criteria, methods, or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibits discrimination solely on the basis of disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance; and requires recipients to provide program access, physical access, effective communication, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities to their programs and activities.
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulation 6 CFR Part 19, which provides an organization that receives financial assistance from DHS for a social service program shall not, in providing services or in outreach activities related to such services, favor or discriminate against a beneficiary of said program or activity on the basis of religion or religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice; and generally requires recipients to provide certain protections, and notice of those protections, to their beneficiaries. The regulation also prohibits recipients from using direct financial assistance from DHS to support or engage in explicitly religious activities.
For additional information on the civil rights and other obligations applicable to your organization as a recipient of federal financial assistance from DHS, please refer to the DHS Standard Terms and Conditions of Award.
- DHS Standards Terms and Condition of Award
- DHS Civil Rights Evaluation Tool
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Overview of the Civil Rights Evaluation Tool
- Monthly Webinar Series for Recipients: CRCL conducts monthly webinars on recipient civil rights requirements related to the civil rights evaluation tool (held on the last Thursday of each month). For more information and to participate in an upcoming webinar, email: CivilRightsEvaluation@hq.dhs.gov.
- Presentation: Developing a Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Process
- Sample Policy and Notice of Nondiscrimination for Recipients
- Developing a Discrimination Complaints Process
- Title VI and Language Access
- Section 504 and Disability Access